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Country News Digest, February 2017


2017 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec
2016 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec
2015 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec

February 28, 2017 - The Josh Abbott Band is off the road due to the serious illness of Abbott's father. The Texas band was touring with the Randy Rogers Band. Abbott, who gained acclaim with his "Front Row Seat" disc, posted on Twitter today, "Due to my father's debilitating due to a stroke almost 3 weeks ago, we were... »»»
February 28, 2017 - Lindi Ortega will release a four-song EP, "Til the Goin' Gets Gone," on March 17, she announced today. The release contains three originals and a cover of Townes Van Zandt's "Waiting 'Round To Die" and will be released on Shadow Box Music. Ortega recorded "Til The Goin' Gets Gone" in a converted East... »»»
February 28, 2017 - Jason Aldean debuted the video for "Any Ol Barstool" today with Entertainment Weekly. Directed by Shaun Silva and filmed at a Nashville bar, The Dog Tavern, the song is the third single from Aldean's "They Don't Know." "This is one of those classic country heartache songs where the guy is trying to... »»»
February 27, 2017 - Marty Stuart announced a headlining U.S. tour today in support of his forthcoming album "Way Out West," out March 10 on Superlatone. The tour includes stops in Boston, New York City and St. Louis. Tickets go on sale on Friday, March 3 at 10 a.m. eastern. Stuart will release his 18th studio disc,... »»»
February 27, 2017 - The late Merle Haggard will receive homage in an all-star concert in Nashville in April starring the likes of Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney, Loretta Lynn and Miranda Lambert. Sing Me Back Home: The Music Of Merle Haggard will be taped at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday, April 6... »»»
February 26, 2017 - Allison Krauss was the highest selling country CD in the country this past week, coming in eighth overall with "Windy City" on the Billboard top 10 chart. The disc was Krauss' first solo effort in 18 years. The released debuted at 9 on the Billboard 200 with 38,000 units moved, including 36,000 in... »»»
February 24, 2017 - Chris Stapleton will release his second album on May 5, exactly two y ears to to the day since his uber successful "Traveller" debut was released. Stapleton also announced "Chris Stapleton's All-American Road Show" tour, starting in mid-March and concluding in late August. New shows were announced from... »»»
February 24, 2017 - Little Big Town, Rhiannon Giddens and Aaron Watson top the heavy release schedule today. Little Big Town got off to a fine start with "The Breaker," as its lead single "Better Man" hit the top of the chart. The song was penned by Taylor Swift. The next single is "When Someone Stops Loving You.... »»»
February 24, 2017 - Texas trio Midland released their music video for its debut single "Drinkin' Problem." Midland penned the song with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne. Basked in the neon blue of an old bar, the video opens with lead singer Mark Wystrach crooning the first lines of the song before the shot widens to... »»»
February 23, 2017 - Cole Swindell's sophomore album, "You Should Be Here," was certified Gold by the RIAA, signifying sales of more than 500,000. The disc was the followup to his Platinum-certified self-titled debut album. The release includes the Platinum-selling title track (1 million in sales), his Gold-certified... »»»
February 22, 2017 - The Academy of Country Music announced today the full list of radio award winners for the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards, including Lon Helton of Country Countdown USA fame as the National category winner. This is the fourth ACM National On-Air Personality of the Year win for Helton.... »»»
February 22, 2017 - Devin Dawson released his first single, "All On Me" on Warner/Atlantic. Dawson also simultaneously released a behind the scenes performance video that gives a look into recording the album at The Church studio in Nashville. Dawson, 28, who recently kicked off the first of his tour dates with... »»»
February 22, 2017 - Aubrie Sellers, who released her major label debut last August, is out with a new single, "Liar Liar." Sellers, who co-wrote the song with Brandy Clark and Jessie Jo Dillon, laces into phonies on the cut from "New City Blues." "'Liar Liar' is all about seeing through someone before they even have a... »»»
February 21, 2017 - Reba McEntire's religious disc, "Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Love," will remain atop the Billboard Country and Christian/Gospel charts for a second consecutive week when the charts are released later this week. With the double-disc album - her 13th number 1- McEntire maintains the record for the... »»»
February 21, 2017 - Brandi Carlile's "The Story" will get the tribute treatment with help from the likes of Adele, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Margo Price and The Avett Brothers as "Cover Stories: Brandi Carlile Celebrates 10 Years of The Story - An Album to Benefit War Child," is out May 5 on Sony Legacy.... »»»
February 21, 2017 - Old Crow Medicine Show signed with Columbia Records Nashville, it was announced today. OCMS will release a cover of Bob Dylan's classic "Blonde on Blonde" on April 28, entitled "50 Years of Blonde on Blonde." This is not the first time that OCMS and Dylan have been grouped together.... »»»
February 17, 2017 - Old 97's will play "Late Night with Seth Myers" on Monday, just days before the release of their new disc and the start of a new tour. Old 97's will play their single "Good With God" on Late Night, featuring additional vocals from Nashville's Nikki Lane. The band has also made a music video for the... »»»
February 17, 2017 - Only 18 years after her last solo disc, Allson Krauss returns with "Windy City." The bluegrasser expands well beyond that sound with country, jazz and other sounds. Krauss covers 10 classic songs that she selected with producer Buddy Cannon. Among them are Glenn Campbell's "Gentle On My Mind," Willie... »»»
February 17, 2017 - Brad Paisley's upcoming disc, "Love and War," has been pushed back about 6 weeks. Paisley's 11th release had been slated for a March 3 debut, but his label said today the music would drop April 21. This week, "Today," the first single from the album, is 11th this week on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.... »»»
February 17, 2017 - Levon, a country band with influences related to its name, signed a deal with Sony Nashville and Epic Records. Levon consists of three best friends: Northbrook, Ill. native Michael David Hall (on guitar and lead vocals, with a five-octave range); Sumter, S.C.'s Jake Singleton (on harmonies, bass and... »»»
February 16, 2017 - Keith Urban leads the Academy of Country Music with seven nominations in five categories, including his seventh for Entertainer of the Year and 10th nod for Male Vocalist of the Year. Urban is nominated twice, as both artist and producer, in the Album of the Year category for "Ripcord.... »»»
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February 15, 2017 - Zac Brown Band's weekend music fest, Southern Ground Music & Food Festival, is taking a year off, the band announced online. "We appreciate the support and love. See you in 2018," the band posted in a tweet. "We regret to announce that the 2017 Southern Ground Music & Food Festival will be rescheduled... »»»
February 15, 2017 - Thomas Rhett is about to become a father - twice. The singer's wife, Lauren Akins, is pregnant, while the couple also are going to adopt a child from Africa soon. The two went on a trip to Tanzania in December with Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard and his wife when Akins started feeling stomach pains.... »»»
February 14, 2017 - Reba McEntire debuted in first on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart with "Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope." Sam Hunt sits atop the Hot Country Songs chart for the week ending Feb. 25 with "Body Like a Back Road." He took over from Little Big Town's "Better Man," which fell to second.... »»»
February 13, 2017 - Cassadee Pope and All-Time Low drummer Rian Dawson are engaged. Pope posted on Twitter "WE'RE ENGAGED!! ❤❤❤." Dawson posted on Instagram, ""he love of my life is now OFFICIALLY the love of my life. Never been happier. :)" Pope, one-time winner of The Voice, has her own country career going.... »»»
February 13, 2017 - Tim McGraw and Faith Hill both signed with Sony Music, Billboard reported today. Billboard said the signings call for multiple solo albums from both Hill and McGraw. McGraw previously had been with Big Machine after starting his career at Curb. When he left Curb, he and the label were engaged in... »»»
February 12, 2017 - Sturgill Simpson's left of center disc, "A Sailor's Guide to Earth," won the Grammy on Sunday for Best Grammy Album. Maren Morris' "My Church" took the honor for Best Country Solo Performance. Morris also sang with Alicia Keys during the broadcast. Hillary Scott & the Scott Family won two Grammys:... »»»
February 11, 2017 - Country acts ranging from Sturgill Simpson to Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban will be onstage during the 59th Grammy awards on Sunday. Simpson, Underwood and Urban will perform along with Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town and Maren Morris and Alicia Keys. Simpson was nominated for Album of the Year... »»»
February 11, 2017 - Brandy Clark and Charlie Worsham will join for more than 20 tour dates this spring. The tour hits the road together beginning on April 6 in Charlottesville, Va. with stops in Washington, D.C., Austin and Nashville. Clark, who has gained much acclaim as a songwriter, made her major label debut last... »»»
February 9, 2017 - Radney Foster announced today he would expand beyond his music by releasing a book of short fiction later this year. "I realized that at heart, I'm a storyteller," said Foster. "This book gives me the chance to go further than what I can say in a three-minute song." The "Sycamore Creek" project will... »»»
February 7, 2017 - Brantley Gilbert was first on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for the week ending Feb. 18 with "The Devil Don't Sleep" and second on the overall chart. Little Big Town stayed atop the Hot Country Songs chart with "Better Man." Sam Hunt debuted in second on the songs chart with "Body Like a Back Road.... »»»
February 7, 2017 - The Gentle Giant, Don Williams, may have retired last year, but his music certainly is not being forgotten. Williams' longtime producer Garth Fundis has produced a tribute album, "Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams," featuring Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Brandy Clark, Jason Isbell & Amanda... »»»
February 7, 2017 - Blake Shelton released the video for his new single "Every Time I Hear That Song," today on Vevo. Directed by Kristin Barlow and shot in Nashville, Shelton debuted the single last month at the 2017 People's Choice Awards, where he became the first country act to take home the award for Favorite Album... »»»
February 6, 2017 - Zac Brown Band debuted its new single, "My Old Man," yesterday in Houston before the Super Bowl. The song is on the band's forthcoming album, "Welcome Home" due out May 12 on Elektra. The song performance included both New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady and Atlanta Falcons signal caller Matt Ryan.... »»»
February 5, 2017 - Brantley Gilbert's "The Devil Don't Sleep" debuted in second on the Billboard top 200 chart, it was announced on Sunday. Gilbert's CD moved 77,000 units earned with 66,000 from traditional album sales. This was Gilbert's third top five release. Gilbert, of course, will top the country chart.... »»»
February 3, 2017 - Terry McBride, the former frontman for '90s country group McBride & the Ride, is back after a 20-year hiatus with a solo project, "Hotels and Highways," out via MV2 Entertainment on Feb. 24. Born of the Texas songwriter tradition, McBride had a successful career with McBride & the Ride in the early... »»»
February 2, 2017 - Reba McEntire returns with a two-disc release of faith, while LeAnn Rimes strays far from her country roots in new releases out today. McEntire put out "Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope," which contains the familiar standards, such as "I'll Fly Away," "Oh Happy Day" and "How Great Thou Art" along... »»»
February 1, 2017 - Zac Brown Band will release its upcoming CD on a new label for the group, Elektra. "Welcome Home" will be out May 12 through the band's Southern Ground and Elektra. the band had been on Big Machine for one disc, "Jekyll + Hyde," which veered far more towards rock. ZBB also will launch a summer tour to... »»»
February 1, 2017 - The Academy of Country Music announced today the Radio Awards nominees for the 52nd Academy of Country music Awards. The nominees are: National On-Air Personality of the Year Big D, Bubba, Patrick Thomas, Carsen The Big D and Bubba Show Cody Alan... »»»